Armchair Mayor

By: Mel Rothenburger

Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). He continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, and did regular commentary for CBC Radio.

Goodbye, Sears – mourning the end of the Wish Book era

June 24, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS –– This thing with Sears marks the end of an era, and the ending of eras is almost always sad. 

Fifty-nine stores closing, 2,900 jobs lost. It’s called “re-structuring.” Did you know that when the Kamloops store opened in 1954, it was the second one in Canada?  It was Simpsons-Sears back then.

I’ve been with Simpsons-Sears and Sears for roughly 60 years.

The ABCs of the BC Liberals’ hypocrisy

June 21, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS – When a government changes its mind, is it a case of listening to the people, or political hypocrisy?

Take tomorrow’s Throne Speech…. please. If Christy Clark and the BC Liberals don’t show up wearing neck braces from the whiplash of their 180 turn on social issues and political donations it will be surprising.

Suddenly, they’re all warm and fuzzy and lefty. According to Clark and several of her ministers, the people have sent them a clear message and, lo, they have listened.

Town hall proves Ajax study was worth the investment

June 20, 2017 - 5:00pm

KAMLOOPS — I trust the glib-tongued editorialists and commenters who preach the supposed folly of spending a half million dollars on an independent review of the Ajax mine will reconsider after Monday night’s public meeting on the resulting report.

Several hundred people were at the meeting, patiently waiting for two hours while the report’s findings were highlighted. When it finally came to questions from the crowd — which took another two hours plus a bit — both supporters and opponents of the mine praised SLR Consulting’s balanced findings.

It’s nail-biting time on Ajax application

June 19, 2017 - 10:00am

KAMLOOPS — There’s a sense of nervous anticipation these days with respect to the Ajax proposal, much as there is when a jury is in the final stages of deliberation at a big trial.

In fact, that’s a pretty apt comparison. In the six years since the proposal surfaced, Ajax has gone through several phases of the decision-making process as the pros and cons have been argued.

The clock is now ticking on the final steps. Never has a decision been of more importance to Kamloops and the surrounding region.

City needs bylaw to make teens leave home sooner

June 17, 2017 - 5:00am

Most days, I’m certain that the power of the press is much over-rated. The media get way too much credit for influencing what people think.

For that reason, I try not to take myself too seriously, or get all self-inflated over having a regular soapbox on which to bother people with what I think.

Then there are days when it seems as though I could say or write the stupidest, most obviously untrue thing ever, and people would think I was serious.

Enforce the two-dog rule or get rid of it

June 15, 2017 - 11:30am

KAMLOOPS — There’s an old saying that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

When it comes to owning too many dogs in Kamloops, though, it’s good enough.

City council had yet another dog owner in front of it on Tuesday, and yet again it let the owner off the hook for having three dogs instead of the two allowed in the dog bylaw.

The owner explained that he wasn’t aware of the limit. Besides which, one of the dogs, poor old Dusty the Shih-poo, is having seizures and isn’t going to last long.

Report on Ajax gives both sides ammunition but…

June 14, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: June 14, 2017 - 6:20pm

KAMLOOPS — There’s something for everybody in the SLR Consulting report on the KGHM Ajax application released by the City on Tuesday.

Those on either side of the issue can point to certain things and say “Aha, I told you so! This proves our point!”

That shouldn’t be much of a surprise, since the report is a balanced analysis of the application for the proposed mine. No project is all good or all bad.

Site C ‘deadline’ passes; game of chicken still on

June 12, 2017 - 1:00pm

KAMLOOPS — The four-day deadline on Site C came and went on the weekend and the sun still rises in the morning.

Last week, Premier Christy Clark gave the NDP and Greens until Saturday to decide whether they’ll ask that work on the $9-billion dam be stopped. Otherwise, she wrote in letters to the two party leaders, the province risks a $600-million, one-year delay of the project.